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Local ISP is purchased, expansion is planned

By By JOHN DILMORE JR. Publisher
Local internet company Econec has been purchased by VISP America, a North Carolina-based venture capital company with varied technologies-related interests.
Econec will continue as the retail arm of the newly expanded company, according to Econec President Gary Stanley.
Econec was welcomed to Brewton in June when it announced plans to open a high-tech call center that would eventually employ 175 people.
The call center -- which offers internet support, takes incoming long distance calls and performs other over-the-phone tasks -- is up and running in a shopping center on Douglas Ave.
It currently employs 26 people over three eight-hour shifts a day.
Alabama native Don Thompson, president of VISP America, said that the company plans to be an active participant in the community here.
Stanley said that by the first of the year, the call center should employ about 50 people, and that number should increase to 100 or so by the end of 2004.
He said he hopes to see the call center employ 250 or so eventually -- a higher number than orginally estimated.
Thompson was even more optimistic.
In addition to the call center, VISP America has a number of interesting projects in the works. Among them are a browser designed to keep children from encountering harmful internet content, and a website designed for individual schools which will allow them to raise money by signing up new internet subscribers.